Seoul Opera House

Korea Go Full Screen

When Nature meets Music

You have to welcome the universal music in Korea, in Seoul. I think that it is a good idea to put this Opera House in the middle of the river. I think it could be an idea of the meeting of nature and music.
The idea of Korea is always linked to the rock, to the trees, to the horizon in the sky and also to the water. So I think that the Opera House can be very emblematic of the idea of Korea in Seoul, if we arrive to link directly the ideas of Korea past and Korea essence and the music.
When you look at this island today, the island is too artificial and you cannot put a building in the site if the site is not positive and perfect.
I know that the idea in the beginning was done by “l'Ile de la Cité” like in Paris, but I propose to do an island in the city and not an island of the city.
And an island in the city could be in the middle of the modern city, the mountain, the rock, the trees, like the ideal image of korean landscape and korean spirit.
So I propose to create the music island with an architecture very mysterious, completely linked to the image of this island.
That is a question to resolve the positive image of the island. We have to recreate a deep landscape, we have to work a lot on the transition between the bridges and the island , and I think the promenade with cars when you go through the island has to become a kind of new world, you are inside the island, I propose to have rocks, I propose to have falling water because the noise of falling water hides the noise of the cars, but also when you are inside you could have perspective through the falling water in the landscape and you could see trees.
It's not only a bridge through an island, its really an urban architectural sequence linked to the new spirit and the new vocation of the island.
This island is a profile, an urban landscape profile on the urban city.
It is a contrast and you understand immediately that this island is something really unique, because in the middle of the trees, of the rocks, you can see goldness, you can see very precious architecture and you have a question , what is this island ? I have the desire to come on this island… and I think also that this profile could be a very strong identity for the city, because architecture is landscape and landscape is architecture in this case, and the contrast is linked to the materiality, the materiality of the goldness, of the transparency, and the rocks, the trees.
Every tree is very precise, when you look at the skyline, you can see every branch, every leaf, and the design of this island is of course not by chance, it is a very special design linked to other and very famous mountains .Its a game with the scale also, you can feel that this island is bigger than, its really.
The first architectural act is to give a new advantage to this island, to give the idea of a mythic island and I think it is a very unique situation in the world.
Every big city in the world, when they create an Opera House, create generally a new icon for the city. I think this icon of the nature in the modern city, in the middle of the river with so precious design and so precious landscape, with an architecture completely well done with the landscape could be very strong.
What is this architecture itself. This architecture is to put in the landscape two musical instruments : Opera House is a musical instrument to listen to human voice,
The concert hall is a music instrument to listen to all the musics of the world.
And the two architectures are two different signs, symbols in the trees, in the landscape, with two goldness reder for the Opera House, yellower for the Concert Hall and you can see inside different effects of lighting but also images Orpheus for the Opera House, and for the concert hall, an evocation of trumpets of musical instruments more abstract.
You can feel in all this landscape a lot of little volumes in gold and this is a very attractive and mysterious image.
So after, we have to do the program, we have to work with you.
I think a program like this is very complex.
We can do the two main instruments, but if you want to follow this idea of a Music island, we can try to have also complementary programs, to listen music outside, to have terraces, bars, different activities during the day, and it could be a park in the city, the park of the music in the city.
And at night, of course the architecture below the projectors could be a real dream.
So I follow this idea, I have the ambition for your city to create a very unique spot in the world.
‚Äč
Jean Nouvel

STATUS Unbuit. 2006
LOCATION Nodul Island, Seoul, South Korea
CLIENT City of Seoul
ARCHITECT Jean NOUVEL - Ateleirs Jean Nouvel
ARCHITECTURAL CREATION Gaston TOLILA
PROJECT LEADER Claude GODEFROY
ARCHITECTS Mathieu FOREST, Pedro DINIS RODRIGUES, Sylvie ERARD, Paul-Emmanuel LOIRET, Benjamin SEIGNEUR, Qiang ZOU
GRAPHICS Marie MAILLARD, Eugénie ROBERT, Rafaëlle ISHKINAZI
LANDSCAPE Irène DJAO RAKITINE, Rémy TURQUIN
3D IMAGES Georges BATZIOS, Jean-François WINNINGER, Manal RACHDI, Eric ANTON (Artefactory)
LIGHT Odile SOUDANT
MODELS Jean-LouisCOURTOIS, Jean-Marc KURZEWSKI
ENGINEERS
ARUP London (Paul Nuttall)
TRANSOLAR (Matthias Schuller)
CONSULTANTS
Scenography: Jacques LE MARQUET, Michel COVA, DUCKS
Acoustics: NAGATA acoustics (Yasu Toyota)
PROGRAM Opera House and Concert Hall
GROSS FLOOR AREA 53 000 m2